Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Goodbye My Darling


(Picture taken by our friend Claire Wilson last year.)

JONATHAN RODDA JACKSON
2.11.40 - 26.12.10

On Boxing Day my lovely Pip died. It sounds such a cliche to say that he fought for his life, but he really did, and was so brave and so funny at a time when most people would have given up long ago. And he never ever forgot to say, "I love you, Pop".

Deathbed scenes such as those written about or filmed may happen but in my Pip's case, he elected to die alone. He wanted to protect me, as he always has. Being me, I said nonsense (to the nurse, not wanting to distress him), and waited until he was further along the line before I crept in and held his hand. There were no vows of eternal love, no gazing fondly into each other's eyes, but silence as his breathing slowed. Every now and again he gave a sigh, then carried on, just as he did when asleep. I kept waiting for him to open his eyes and say, “Pop? What are you doing? I told you to go home.”

The minutes ticked past, and I looked at his watch. The curtains around his bed were dotted with gaudy flowers, and I started counting them. I kissed his hand, wishing it to respond to mine. My dear brother in law, sitting awkwardly behind me, stroked my back. Outside the curtains the nurses were trying to track down another nurse who hadn't turned up for her shift, were trying to find her number. “I've got it, it's under Bet Mob!” came a triumphant cry.

And finally, my Pip stopped breathing. I expected to feel some momentous wave of grief, to sob loudly and noisily, as I have been doing for the past week. Instead there was a sense of shock, of disbelief. For the man lying there looked nothing like the vibrant husband that I love so much.

We collected his things; I took his wedding ring and his watch. The nurses provided us with a booklet entitled What to do following a bereavement, and my brother in law and I staggered disbelievingly down the now-familiar overheated corridors out into the grey gloom of a quiet Boxing Day.

As we walked back to the car, Pete put his arm around me, I snuck mine round his. Awkwardly, for there is a considerable distance in height, we walked back to the car, sharing stories of a very special man. “You gave him an inner contentment that he'd never had before,” said the generous Pete. “You've made such a difference to the family.”

My Pip gave me love in abundance, confidence, pride and a sense of right and wrong. He was unfailingly generous, courteous and incredibly brave. His wicked sense of humour, his ability to charm any woman alive, and his quick thinking will be remembered by all, and that is one of the things that I shall hold onto on those days when everything is too much.

I feel privileged to have loved, and be loved by, such a very special man.

63 comments:

Chris Stovell said...

Well said, Sue. What a wonderful tribute to your man. That photo's pretty special too. Look after yourself. Love Cx

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Chris. He was very special and Claire took a lovely picture of him.

Kate Harrison said...

So sorry. Thinking of you. Take care,
Kate xx

Denise said...

How beautifully said, in a situation where there so often just aren't the words. You're so right, it's the wonderful stories that make you smile that are important. Take it easy, Denise xx

margaret blake said...

Very moving, Sue, my thoughts are with you.

HelenMHunt said...

So sorry to hear this. Wishing you strength and peace.

Amanda said...

Oh, Sue - I'm so very sorry. Thinking of you xx

JP - The Mistress of Corgi Manor said...

I am so sorry to learn of this, Sue. Though I never met this handsome, wonderful man - or you in person - blog/cyber world has provided the opportunity to know you through your words. Seems you were both blessed to know a beautiful love and a rare friendship in your marriage.

laurie said...

oh my god, sue, i hadn't realized... oh, i am so sorry. this is a beautiful and honest and heartfelt and moving post, but i cannot imagine your grief. i know from reading you over the years how much you love him. i am so very very sorry for your loss.

Vermont Designs said...

Thank you for writing that, dear Sister-in-Law. Only wish I could have been there too - and could come now. Just not possible with the present family circumstances here. Pete is our Rock. Much love and long hugs, SS.

Pat Posner said...

Sending hugs and love to you and yours, Sue.

As Chris says, you've written a wonderful tribute - every time you mentioned Pip in your posts you showed what a special person he was.

xxPat

Cathy said...

A beautiful tribute, Sue. Thinking of you,
Cx

liz fenwick said...

My heart, thoughts and prayers are reaching out to you. Your words were beautiful but I would expect that from you. I just read them again. Beautiful.
Hugs.
L x

Jo Simpson said...

This is so moving that tears were streaming down my face as i read it.
How wonderful to have had a love like that in your life... xx

Debs said...

You write so beautifully and your husband truly sounds like a very special man.

That is a fabulous picture.x

Elaine said...

I am so, so sorry. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, even though I only ever knew Pip through your writing. And I'm completely shocked. Stunned. I don't know what to say.

Please, please take care. xxx

Colette McCormick said...

I am so sorry for your loss Sue but you were blessed to have been loved by him. Treasure the memories. Take care of yourself because I am sure that is what Pip would want you you to do.
In my thoughts and prayers
x

Flowerpot said...

kate and Denise - thanks so much. He was full of special moments.

Lesley Cookman said...

There are no words. Have been through this myself. Thinking of you. Lesley xxx

Flowerpot said...

Margaret - that's so kind.

Helen - I need both, so thanks.

Mandy - thanks for your thoughts.

JP - Yes I have been very lucky and hope that strength will carry me through.

Laurie - the immediate grief was fierce. The rest of it will take its time I guess.

Flowerpot said...

Shelagh - I so wish you were here too. My best and dearest love and sending you all the strength that you need. xxxx

Flowerpot said...

Pat - he is one of a kind certainly. Shit, no that's WAS isn't it? When will I get used to that?

Cathy - many thanks

Liz - hope to see you in the summer. Safe journey.

Jo - yes I am very lucky and need to hold on to that fast.

Debs - yes he was.

Flowerpot said...

Elaine - I go through phases of feeling stunned as well. Having one of them now. Then it comes over in a wave.

Colette - I will try and do both. There's so much stuff to organise right now but I am eating well and trying to get enough rest - easier when all the formalities are over.

Flowerpot said...

Addy - thanks so much for that. Hope you are managing throughout this Christmas break. x

have I forgotten anyone? Apologies if I have. Brain not fucntioning at its best.

Flowerpot said...

Lesley - thank you so much. We are in a select, if unenviable club. Good to know that others understand.

Jenny Haddon said...

So very, very sorry. Sue.

What a tremendous tribute to Pip and your life together.

Julie Cohen said...

So, so sorry Sue. I hope the beautiful memories help you through the days to come. Thank you for sharing your love with us through your words.

Akelamalu said...

Oh my lovely, I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved. Such a handsome man and he looks so well in the photo. I can only imagine your pain m'deario so I won't say any more than I'm thinking of you and wish you peace and I'm sending Reiki to help Pip on his journey home. xxxx

Talli Roland said...

Sue, this is a wonderful, touching tribute to Himself. I've been thinking of you over the past few days, ever since I heard the news. Please take care of yourself. Sending you hugs and love,
xx

Jan Jones said...

(((((hugs)))))

Judyastley said...

Such a beautiful piece Sue and I'm so sorry for your loss. Judy xxx

Bluestocking Mum said...

That's a truly beautiful tribute to your lovely husband Sue.

It's clear for all to see how much you loved each other and why he fought to stay with you.

I hope you find some comfort in the coming weeks and years from knowing how you loved him, and was loved in return.

And that we are all with you, sending our hugs and heartfelt condolences.

Debbie
x

Lane said...

I'm so, so sorry. You found such beautiful words. I wish I could reciprocate as eloquently but all I can say again is I'm so sorry to hear this.

Thinking of you. x

Jane Lovering said...

My thoughts are with you. Thank you for your post.

Flowerpot said...

Jenny - thank you so much.

Julie - I hope so too.

Ak - that's so kind. We both need some!

Talli - that's so very kind.

Jan - I need them!

Judy - thanks so much.

Debbie - what kind words that I will treasure.

Sarah Duncan said...

Very sorry to hear your news Sue. Thinking of you, and Molls.

Trubes said...

Dear Sue,
I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your beloved Pip, and cannot begin to imagine the pain you must be feeling.

Such a lovely and touching tribute too.

Thinking of you and your family at this sad time.

Di.xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Words cannot express how beautiful this post was. So very touching and incredibly heart-felt.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

CJ xx

Kate Hardy said...

Sue, my heart goes out to you - sending you huge, huge hugs. And what a gorgeous tribute. Here's hoping you reach the point where the good memories make you smile and help dry your tears. Take care, love Kate xx

Flowerpot said...

Lane - those thoughts all help a lot.

Jane - and yours too.

Sarah - Thanks I feel for poor Molls too.

Di - it's very heartwarming to read all these comments and good wishes, it really is.

CJ - thanks. It certainly came fromthe heart.

Flowerpot said...

Kate - I know you have suffered a great loss recently and hope you are managing. Hugs to you too xx

MarmiteToasty said...

So sad to here of this sad news....a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful handsome beautiful man...... Ive only come to know you both through your words, and the love you had for each other would ooze off the page... I feel honoured to of been able to read such love and commitment....

Sue, you will have such memories of such a very special man to hold you in those dark times....

If I would wrap my arms around you now as my tears flow freely I would.... I know your further down the coast then me but not undoable, if there is EVER anything I can ever do for you, please do not hestitate to ask, I could be with you in half a day... it would be my honour to help....

I can not imagine what you must be going through.. you very beautiful lovely lady... know you are so loved..

oxo

Flowerpot said...

Oh Marmie what a very lovely, kind and generous offer. I can;'t thank you enough particularly when you have more than your own share of troubles. Thank you more than I can say. xxx

Jenny Beattie said...

Sue, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your tribute is beautiful. With all my love, Jenny

Grump said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. You write beautifully about him. He sounds like such a lovely man. I feel I will miss him to.
I wont be near a computer for a couple of weeks [summer holidays], but my thoughts are with you. A big hug to you and Molls.
Woofx

Grump said...

So sorry to hear of the passing of Pip. You write so beautifully and lovingly.
I feel I will miss him to. I will be away camping for the next two weeks, but thoughts will be with you. A big hug to you and Molls.
Woof x

Flowerpot said...

Jenny - thank you so much.

Grump - that's lovely to hear. Enjoy your camping and Molls sends a woof to Tilly.

Shirley Wells said...

Oh, Sue, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you and sending hugs. x

Ellee Seymour said...

I am so deeply saddened to read this. What a wonderful man. I'm so sorry to learn of your loss. Thinking of you and wishing you strength through your sadness and grief. x

avi said...

My dear love,
What a beautiful tribute to him. We are all going to miss him, he was loved so dearly by everyone who knew him. Reading all these comments shows how many people are thinking of you too, their kindness and words are so touching. He was indeed a special person. And so are you my love. I am thinking of you so much. Lots of love to you. Av xxx

Philipa said...

I'm so sorry, FP. You've found such beautiful words to express your love for Pip and I'm sorry I can't find words to send my love to you and tell you how special you both have become to so many of us in the blogosphere xx

Liane Spicer said...

So sorry, Sue. Wonderful tribute and photo. Your love for each other was apparent in every anecdote, every mention of him over the years I've been reading your blog. Please take care of yourself at this time; he would want you to. ((()))

avi said...

How lovely to see his photo again, his charm and dignity ouses out. We will miss him so much, he was such a special man. All these comments show that YOU too are very special, and how much people care about you. Take care my love. Av x

Flowerpot said...

Shirley - thank you so much.

Ellee - and you too. Strength is definitely needed.

Phil - you have found just the right words to make me feel better. Thank you.

Liane - wise advice and I am trying to do just that.

Flowerpot said...

My dear Av - thank you for such kind words from someone who knows him so well.

sheepish said...

I feel for you with all my heart, your words are beautiful. Take care.

Flowerpot said...

Sheepish - many thanks.

jessie said...

So sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful way to remember him.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Jessie.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

It been a little while since I stopped by and I am so sad and very upset to read about Pip. My heart breaks for you because the love of your life is physically no longer with you but he will always be with you in your heart. Take good care dear Sue♥ Linda xxxxx

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Linda. I hope he will stay with me forever. But I need to get on with my life - with him beside me.

SARINA said...

I`ve only just found your blog, but was massively impressed about what I read there.
I`m sure your Pip is watching over you. Your tributes to him were so elequently written, that he would have been proud as punch. Look after yourself and I hope the hurt in your heart will subside in time.
Bright blessings from Sarina.

Flowerpot said...

Thank you Sarina for your very kind thoughts. Good to meet you, too.